Friday, June 29, 2007

Random Friday plus Celebrating #184 for the Third Day

Just a couple of quick updates and then on to three more favorites. First, I have recently combined with The main reason is because I kept forgetting to update the other one. So now you can just type in and it will automatically bring you this site.

For those of you looking for my upcoming schedule from the other site, I will post it every few weeks on here as far as where I will be in the upcoming weeks. With that said, here is my schedule for July:

July 15th - Marathon Church - Main Services Powdersville,SC
July 22nd - Marathon Church - Main Services Powdersville,SC
July 29th - Marathon Church - Main Services Powdersville,SC

I am currently still booking fall retreats as well as spring events. I am currently working on a Merge Tour for spring of next year. Hopefully we will be at a location near you. Merge Winter Retreat in Pigeon Forge Registration begins August 1st. So far we are about 70 % full based on verbal commitments to date. Things are starting to get busy which is a good thing. should be up and operational within the next month.

If you want to catch my previous message at Marathon and didn't get to catch it on the web then be sure to tune in to the WB Channel 40 this Sunday Morning at 9:30 a.m.

Now for my final three favorites in Celebration of post #184.




Still Celebrating

Here are three more of my favorite posts:




Enjoy! I will return to my regular blogging schedule on Sunday.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Celebrating Number 184

Yesterday, I reached a milestone in the blogging world. Yesterday was my 184th post on my blog. Why am I celebrating number 184 and not some even number like 100, 200, or 7000? Well, it is my blog and it just so happens that I would like to celebrate number 184. Number 184 is very much under appreciated. It is the ugly step child of numbers. And just like 184 is under appreciated, some numbers are way over appreciated, like number 3 for instance. I mean think of all of number 3's uses. The trifecta, the hat trick, Big E(Dale Earnhardt), the Triple Crown, three outs, three up three down, 3 wishes, par 3, 3 amigos(huh, huh,huh,hey), 3 musketeers(twice on this one, the candy bar and the men in tights with swords) trilogy(Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, etc etc), 3 dog night, 3 way calling, three strikes, parents counting to three(why not count to six) three men and a baby, three men and a little lady, my three sons, three's company, 3 times a lady, etc etc. I could go on and on about the 3's over use. Then I think of 184 and ........................................................................nothing. So today we celebrate the number 184 by taking a look back at three of my favorite posts for the next three days which equals 9.

Number 3 favorite for today is

Number 2 favorite for today is

Number 1 favorite for today is

Join me tomorrow for more news and three more look backs at some more favorites.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

So tonight I threw down the gauntlet to Bryan Holder. When the youth group hits 400 by the second week of September, then he has to ride a bull at Elrod's farm. Everyone make sure and begin to invite your friends to Amped. It meets every Wednesday at 7:07 p.m.. I know what he has prepared for the fall and it is going to rock. Craig Pnkerton rode a bull tonight and he only lasted around a second and a half. And we all know his level of manliness is much greater than Bryan's. First Bryan's Bungee and now the bull, just how does he get himself roped into all of these things(no pun intended)?

Lots of Randomness

We got a good report on Isaac today. His platelets are on the rise which is good thing. His White Blood Count is on the rise which is also a good thing. His weight is on the rise which is another good thing. Just last month they had considered putting him on a feeding tube.

Things are progressing for him slowly. He is starting to feel better which is good after more than a year. He continues to battle with depression which is tough for us as parents to watch our 9 year old struggle with depression everyday. The doctors have told us that it will take some time and that most kids who go through transplants and diseases of this nature suffer post traumatic stress. He was really upset on Monday but we had a special surprise for him. He has been unable to have pets since before his transplant but just this past visit the doctor has given him permission to have a cat or dog. Melissa brought home a 8 week old kitten that someone had given us on Monday afternoon and that has really cheered him up.

It looks as though they are trying to transition all of his treatments back down here within the next few months. Hopefully by late August - middle of September we will be down here for good with only occasional trips to Cincy for check ups.

I have a couple of decisions looming over me in the next month and need your prayers. They both deal with my ministry Merge and it's direction. I don't want to do what is safe and easy, I want to do what is right. My prayer is for clarification.

I had lunch with friends today, Bryan, Brian and Michelle. We recalled how Brian had run over a man on a bicycle with the church van while he was my intern years ago. The man lived and is ok today. However, the same can't be said of Brian's underwear after he messed his pants. Brian is at Mt Lebanon Church in Greer should you need a fill in driver for any upcoming trips.

Monday, June 25, 2007


It seems as though some folks think that I placed the sign in the previous post in someone's yard. I categorically and wholly deny placing said sign in one "Big Dave's" yard. I will not deny knowing that said sign had been placed. But the real question is this, does merely knowing and photographing the sign constitute guilt. I really think that Big Dave would be quite suprised at knowing who actually placed the sign. I know, I know, I probably could have prevented this incident by reporting it to the proprietors of the "For Sale" house in question. But, quite frankly I didn't want to get involved in what appears to be someone else's retaliation toward "Big Dave". If "Big Dave" should hapeen to figure out who perpertrated such a deed and would like to render some pay back, then I would be happy to ride along and photograph such retalitory events.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Can't Afford a Sign?

I was riding through Easley and I came across this for sale sign I had to take a picture of. Keep in mind that this neighborhood features some rather "Elite" type homes. You would figure that people that live in a neighborhood like this could at least afford a sign to sell their house with. This sign had duct tape and zip ties that were holding it together. I tried to call the number but had to leave a message. If you're looking for a house on the cheap give em a call.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

One Man's Junk

This morning I got up early because their was an auction about a mile from the house and I wanted to see what kind of junk they were going to sell off. Auctions can be fun to go and sit and just watch people. There are all types of people there. There is usually a some guy wearing a real nice polo shirt who has no clue about how to bid at an auction. Then there is always some guy smoking a cigar and he is buying everything to take back to his antique booth to sale. And then there is always a lady in her mid 60's and she is buying all the crap that no one else will bid on. When I see someone like this I begin to wonder what this person's house must look like and then I only have to think of what my garage looks like and there you go.

Anyway it is always amusing the stuff that you see at an auction. Today though was kind of unique though because as I was walking around looking at the stuff before the auction started, I discovered an oak dresser that used to belong to me. It was like DejaVu. The reason I knew it was mine was because the bottom drawer was broken out when I bought it and I had made it into a kind of blanket chest and we had used it in our house for 3-4 years. Back in 2000, I had sold the dresser at an auction in Williamston. I never knew who had bought it that day but I found out today that it was someone who lived in Easley and after about 7 years of use they decided it was time to go. It was kind of like seeing the same dollar bill twice. I started to buy it back but then realized I have no space for it. I wonder who ended up with it today and if I'll ever see it again. Hmmmm I wonder.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Buggy Racing

Have you ever had one of those moments where you only had a couple of items to buy at the store and inevitably the person that beats you to the checkout line has about 150 items? That has happened to me a ton and everytime it is frustrating because in your mind you keep thinking about how you would already be in your car by the time they are half way through with their order.

Well today said incident was avoided thanks to some extreme buggy moves by yours truly.

Today I went to Lowes and I had to get a couple of bags of mulch. Just a couple of items was all I had. As I start heading to the outside register I saw an elderly lasy heading to the register with her long blue cart and it was loaded up with a gazllion of those little colorful plants. She probably had 75 or so items and she was about 10 yards ahead of me heading to the empty register line.
I played it cool at first and pretended not to be heading to the check out so as not to cause her to speed up. As soon as I thought her gaurd was down I made my move. I switched quickly to the next ailse over. I looked like Jeff Gordon sliding through the esses at Watkins Glenn. It was smooth. Then as she glanced around I quickly accelerated and moved over one more ailse so as to have a straight shot at the register. After a hard contested battle she conceded the race to the register to me and I beat her driving away by more than 10 buggy lengths. Actually, I think some Hosta caught her eye and caused her to slow in the ground cover section. By the time she finally reached the checkout, I had completed my purchase and was on my way.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Job I don't Want

While I was at camp this past week, we made a stop at the arcade as a part of one of the games from the week. As we were in there I watched the kids pile up the tickets for winning games like skee ball, old school baseball, crane dump and more.

Well, yesterday on our way up to Cincinnati Isaac wanted to make a quick stop in Pigeon Forge. We stopped in and he wanted to find an arcade so he could win some tickets. We made our way to the Ripley's Arcade at the Five Oaks Outlet Mall. We went in and he wanted to play skee ball. There wasn't anyone in there so we let him play. He won some tickets and then we went to the counter to cash them in. There was a little boy at the counter who apparently had been there winning tickets all day. He had hundreds to cash in. For about ten minutes I watched as this kid would pick an item and then as soon as the attendant would get the prize out of the case, the kid would change his mind. Back and forth he went. This one, no that one, no this one right here.

I probably would have lost it about the 5th time he changed his mind. I decided right then that arcade attendant was not a job I would want to have. Sure the games would be fun to play in your off time but waiting five minutes for a kid to decide whether or not he wants the bouncy ball or the three plastic spiders would drive me absolutely crazy.

When Isaac got ready to pick out his prizes, I told him he had one shot at it and that was cool because he already had made up his mind while waiting on the other kid.

Kudos to all arcade attendants everywhere. You have my respect for not going postal on little kids Worldwide.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Do You Say?

Today we headed back up to Cincinnati. We arrived about 9:00 p.m. . Isaac has doctor appointments and treatments tomorrow.

As we started going up the road I noticed Isaac was being pretty quiet in the back seat. I could tell he was thinking about something so I decided to ask him what was wrong. As soon as I asked it seemed like he was wanting me to ask and he immediately began crying. I asked him why he was upset and what he said blew me away.

He said" Daddy, I'm not questioning God but sometimes I wonder why he picked me to go through this."

This coming from my 9 year old. What do you say? Melissa and I looked at each other speechless. We tried to console him. We told him that there is a reason for everything and that he was the strongest boy we knew. We told him everything that he has been through has caused many people to look up to him.

I thought about what he said for the next 5-6 hours on the way up here. As I thought about it, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my grandpa Sunday. He is in his mid 80's and is battling cancer. Sunday I had a chance to sit down just him and me for a few minutes. Those few minutes provided enough wisdom for years. Sunday, he said this to me "Sam, God will never put on us more than we can handle. Sometimes it's a little stronger dose than we would want but it is never more than we can bear".

I worry about Isaac. I just want the right things to say when he feels this way.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Talk Louder

So this past week while at camp several folks were speaking like Borat. I haven't seen the movie only the commercials. They were all using his accent and by the end of the week I had joined the bandwagon. I too was talk like Borat. (I just did it writing and some of you thought it was a type o). For hours we perfected our speech. Sometimes it sounded Swedish or Spanish but mostly it was Boratese.

Anyway, that night we went to the Yum Yum Shop Ice Cream Parlor and I decided to try out my new language. So, when it was time to order I spoke fluent Borat. I said " Ches, I would like ice cream called choc o late made from American Cow and in dis cone like dis. Also would like drink called Coke of Cola." Seeing how obviously I spoke very little English, the Yum Yum shop manager thought that if he spoke louder then somehow I would understand English better. So he doubled his decibel level and started to slow down his speaking. He said very loudly"that will be $4.86" I responded" I have dollars 5 of American." and he continued his loud dialogue thinking somehow I would get it if it was louder.

Once outside we all laughed and continued on our way. It's pretty funny to see peoples reactions when you talk a little different. Try it out at the Drive Thru this week. You'll get a laugh.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Nice to Relax

As I said yesterday, I just got back from speaking at a youth camp this past week so today we just took time to unwind. We went to Isaac's favorite place this afternoon, Aunt Sue's on Highway 11. Then after that we went to Greenville and visited with both of my grandfathers and grandmothers. It was good to get to see them. It brought back a ton of memories from when I was a kid and it was a cool afternoon. This was the first time they had gotten to see Isaac in a few years because of his sickness. They were all excited and glad to see them. Then this evening my parents came over and spent time at the house.

I sat on the porch this evening and reflected on life. I reflected on some words of wisdom that my grandfather gave me this afternoon. And I reflected on the events of the past week.

This was the first year I have been at youth camp in the last 14 years and have not been the youth minister in charge. And I must say it felt nice. I was in charge of speaking and games and that was cool with me. I didn't have to do the games part but that is something I always enjoy and it is fun being creative with that stuff. The coolest part was that when the week was over, my work was done. No parents gripes. Nothing. Probably one of the most frustrating things a youth pastor experiences is pouring their heart and soul into a week of camp only to come home and find some parent whining or complaining about something that you couldn't control anyway. Or worse yet, coming back and listen to some pastor who sat home while you led students and leaders through a week away from your own family and he has some petty gripe about the church van being dirty, his kid being unhappy, or something else ridiculous. Yes, this week just confirmed to me that this is where I belong. If I screw something up, then I can fuss at myself. Right now though it is just relaxing not having to deal with the junk that goes along with it.

Props to Bholda. Great job as always. This dude worked his butt off, was almost swept away by someones porch during baptism(seriously, during the baptism service in the ocean, part of a porch went by during the storm waves) and he had to bungee. Props to Chase and the youth band. It is awesome to think that these guys are all students and they really bring it. Probably the best thing about these kids is that they aren't hired guns and you can tell by the way they play from the heart to their peers. Great job.

One thing that I think Bryan could do better. He needs to learn to time the waves during baptism. That way maybe he doesn't drop people in the sand next time.

Father's Day

This is an especially cool Father's Day. Just seeing my son this morning while he was sleeping made my day. Last year his future as well as ours was topsy turvy. We didn't know what to think or do. I am thankful that he is doing good. He has a long way still to go but he has came a long way. He surprised me again this morning with another Father's Day present. He gave me a framed picture of him and me hanging out together. That was priceless.

In other news, Isaac has been invited to Kannapolis,NC on July 5th to be a guest of Hendrick Motorsports for a Team USA vs Japan Allstars baseball game that will feature some of the best college age baseball players in the Country. After the game, Isaac will be in a photoshoot with a precious little girl who is fighting a rare blood condition. They will use these photos in their upcoming promotion for their fundraising efforts for the Hendrick Marrow Program.

This afternoon we are off to hang out as a family. I think we'll head to the mountains.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Back at Home

I haven't posted in a week and a half. I am back home after speaking at Marathon's Youth Camp this past week. This is literally the first time I have sat down in front of the computer in the last week and a half. Everything went great at camp. I will be sharing more details in the next few days. We saw students give their life to Christ. We had a bunch of students baptized in the midst of an ocean storm which was cool to watch. I saw Bryan Holder mess his pants when he lost a challenge and had to face his worst fear in that of a bungee jump with tons of people chanting his name while he jumped. I will tell all about the week over the next few days.

But I would have to say that the best thing that happened was this afternoon when I saw Melissa and Isaac. Isaac cried when he saw his daddy and that made my week. He surprised me this afternoon with a Craftsman Rolling tool box for Father's Day. It is just what I had wanted. I needed something to cart around the go kart tools in. I'll post more soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Random Stuff

Last night I was home for the first time on a Wednesday Night in two months. So I headed on up to Marathon and hung out with the youth group up there. Last night was especially fun because they were having a food fight. It looked more like chum. It stunk bad. There was some junk growing all sorts of mold. I do know that there was some food involved that had been sitting in a refrigerator for a year and a half. You can check it out here.

I will be leaving for camp on Saturday. I will be speaking Sunday-Thursday. This has been a busy few weeks getting everything ready for that. I'm not sure if I will be posting or not next week. I guess it depends if I can find a wireless network at camp.

Tonight I took Isaac to the slot car track. He likes to go there every couple of weeks. He usually drives the cars and I usually spend my time putting them back on the track when he crashes.

I met with some folks this week about something cool that is going to be taking place starting in the fall. I can't release the details right now but I should be able to spill the beans around the first week of July or so.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


We just received an update that another one of our friends from Cincinnati has passed away. Please remember this family from North Carolina with the loss of their young son in your prayers. Their child had received both a Liver and Bone Marrow transplant. Our hearts are saddened everytime we get news like this and there are no words to express what we feel.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Once Again I'm Not the Man

Last night as I got ready to go to bed, I heard a rustling noise in the attic. Two weeks ago Melissa informed me that we had a bat friend in the attic. Well, last night he or she was apparently involved in some sort of ruckus up there. I beat on the wall and told him to quiet down. That didn't work. I then turned on the attic light and threatened to go up there with a tennis racket. That didn't work either because he obviously saw straight through my bluff. There was no crappin way I was going into the attic with a bat that was obviously disturbed about something.

So today Melissa perused through the Yellow Pages and found a bat removal specialist. I would have tried to get the bat out myself but I reasoned that as soon as the bat were to have made a move toward me, I would have jumped straight through the ceiling and created a big mess. I even went so far as to call a friend who is a Game Warden to see if it was legal to shoot the bat. It is legal but I reasoned against that fearing that 1.) I would end up shooting a large hole in the side of the house or 2.) I would jump straight through the ceiling with a gun in my hand thus making a huge hole in the ceiling and shooting a hole in the side of the house at the same time.

So I decided to wait for bat man to arrive. He showed up in a Safari painted truck, with a sign on the side that said "Warning Live Animals". He came inside and proceeded into the attic. I expected that he would have some fancy net or giant can of bat eradicator spray. Nope, his plan was to just grab the bat with his hands. First the guy picking up the snakes with his hands a few weeks ago in Cincinnati and now this guy was going to pick up the bat with his hand. Maybe I just didn't go to the right man school growing up because there is no way I am picking up critters in my hands. Once again, I'm just not the man.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Random Stuff

Ok, I have had a lot of emails of people asking me if that is my real stomach in the picture. Some of the comments I got were like"dude, I thought you were more muscular than that". Well, the truth is I am. I used the Mac to kind of distort my chest and give it the Ugly Betty makeover. I certainly did not want to be responsible for making people lust or jealous over my rock hard abs.

In other news, we are at home for the entire week for the first time in two months. Isaac will still be getting treatments but they are going to try and do some of them here. This is good because the driving was getting crazy. In the last 2 1/2 weeks we had traveled more than 3500 miles.

This week is busy for me. I am finishing up my messages for a camp that I am speaking at next week. It should be a great week. Things are coming together good.

We are going to try and schedule another go kart outing for June 27th. Mark your calendars now. If you are reading this you are invited. Just drop me an email and let me know you're coming and I'll send directions. You need some old clothes and a fresh change of clothes for when we finish up and a towel. We may shake things up a bit by adding some mud to the equation. See you there.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Kinda Bored

So tonight I was kinda bored and so I was messing around on the Mac and I came up with this pic. You know how sometimes you can look at the clouds and see different shapes and stuff. Well tonight I was looking at my belly on my Mac and discovered that it kinda looks like an alien face. You tell me. (I added the nose with a sharpie and I'm not sure if it detracts from the beauty of the Alien or not. And I don't think most Aliens have noses anyway. At least not the ones that kidnapped me on that lonely road in Georgia.)

Always Funny

I didn't have anything new to post today so I thought I would give you a laugh. It's always funny to watch someone fall especially when you find out they are going to be ok. Some of you have already seen this Home Shopping Classic but here it is anyway. Enjoy.